SB 27: "An Act relating to the establishment of the Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Reading Instruction for All Students and on the Effects of Dyslexia on Some Students."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 27 01 "An Act relating to the establishment of the Task Force on Reading Proficiency and 02 Reading Instruction for All Students and on the Effects of Dyslexia on Some Students." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 07 (1) approximately 47,000 students in the state do not meet Alaska English 08 Language Arts standards as indicated by the Alaska Measures of Progress test, and reading 09 proficiency scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for students in the 10 state were stagnant from 2003 through 2015; 11 (2) the results on student assessments demonstrate that the state is not meeting 12 the needs of struggling readers; 13 (3) dyslexia, the most common specific learning disability, affects between 14 three and 17 percent of the student population and accounts for approximately 80 percent of
01 all specific learning disabilities; 02 (4) the scientific consensus is that, when learning to read, typical and atypical 03 learners have overlapping instructional needs, including the need for highly knowledgeable 04 and skilled reading teachers to improve reading proficiency outcomes; and 05 (5) the residents of this state hold the legislature, the governor, and the state 06 Board of Education and Early Development accountable for student reading proficiency 07 outcomes because the legislature, the governor, and the state Board of Education and Early 08 Development are responsible for developing and implementing strongly justified education 09 budget proposals and for leading reforms of the state's public education system. 10 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 11 read: 12 TASK FORCE ON READING PROFICIENCY AND READING INSTRUCTION 13 FOR ALL STUDENTS AND ON THE EFFECTS OF DYSLEXIA ON SOME STUDENTS. 14 (a) The Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Reading Instruction for All Students and on 15 the Effects of Dyslexia on Some Students is established as a joint task force of the Alaska 16 State Legislature. The purpose of the task force is to 17 (1) evaluate and make recommendations regarding reading instructional 18 practices for all public school students in the state and the diagnosis, treatment, and education 19 of children affected by dyslexia; and 20 (2) examine how current statutes and regulations affect reading proficiency 21 outcomes. 22 (b) The task force established under (a) of this section shall 23 (1) examine 24 (A) the effects of dyslexia on reading proficiency outcomes in the state 25 and in other jurisdictions; 26 (B) dyslexia education practices and laws in other jurisdictions; 27 (2) evaluate and recommend methods to 28 (A) improve reading proficiency and reading instruction for all public 29 school students in the state; 30 (B) increase, within three years, the 31 (i) percentage of students who meet the Alaska English
01 Language Arts standards to greater than 50 percent of students; 02 (ii) statewide average reading proficiency scores of public 03 school students in the state by one grade level; 04 (C) fund legislative changes and measures the task force recommends; 05 (D) mitigate the effects of dyslexia on reading proficiency, including 06 (i) early screening, early identification, and early intervention 07 for students in preschool through grade three; 08 (ii) screening, identification, and intervention for students in 09 grades four through 12; 10 (iii) training all relevant educational staff in the use of 11 evidence-based screening and identification instruments; and 12 (3) identify evidence-based, multi-sensory, direct, explicit, structured, and 13 sequential approaches to instructing students affected by dyslexia. 14 (c) The task force shall complete interim and final reports summarizing the findings 15 and recommendations of the task force, including proposed legislation for the Alaska State 16 Legislature to consider. The task force shall submit to the governor, the state Board of 17 Education and Early Development, and the senate secretary and chief clerk of the house of 18 representatives an interim report not later than January 31, 2018, and a final report not later 19 than January 31, 2019, and notify the legislature that each report is available. 20 (d) The task force consists of 15 members as follows: 21 (1) three members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of 22 the house of representatives, including at least one member of the minority organizational 23 caucus; 24 (2) three members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, 25 including at least one member of the minority organizational caucus; 26 (3) the commissioner of education and early development, or the 27 commissioner's designee, who serves as a nonvoting member; and 28 (4) eight members of the public to be appointed jointly by the speaker of the 29 house of representatives and the president of the senate as follows: 30 (A) one member who is an active or retired teacher in kindergarten 31 through grade three with significant experience teaching reading to students
01 developing typically and atypically in the state; 02 (B) one member representing the Association of Alaska School Boards 03 who is knowledgeable about reading instruction and dyslexia; 04 (C) one nonvoting member who is a judge or representative of the 05 judicial branch of state government and is familiar with relevant federal education 06 laws; 07 (D) one member representing the University of Alaska who, for both 08 typically and atypically developing students, is a highly knowledgeable and skilled 09 teacher of reading and demonstrates the ability to pass this knowledge and skill on to 10 student teachers, or if a candidate meeting the criteria in this subparagraph is not 11 available, one member who is a nationally recognized expert in teaching reading to 12 both typically and atypically developing students who demonstrates the ability to pass 13 this knowledge and skill on to student teachers; and 14 (E) four members recommended by the member organizations of the 15 Alaska Reading Coalition or designees of the selected members. 16 (e) The members of the task force shall select a chair from the voting members of the 17 task force. The task force meets at the call of the chair and shall meet at least six but not more 18 than 10 times annually. A majority of the members of the task force constitutes a quorum. 19 (f) A vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original 20 selection or appointment. If a member has a conflict of interest with respect to a matter before 21 the task force, the member may not take action on that matter. The remaining members of the 22 task force shall consult with an expert regarding the matter before the task force. 23 (g) The task force may request data and other information from the Department of 24 Education and Early Development, school districts, and other state agencies. 25 (h) The staff of the legislative members of the task force shall provide administrative 26 and other support to the task force. 27 (i) Public members of the task force serve without compensation. The task force shall 28 meet telephonically. Members of the task force are not entitled to per diem or travel expenses. 29 (j) The task force expires on January 31, 2019. 30 (k) In this section, 31 (1) "relevant educational staff" includes school psychologists, special
01 education teachers, other teachers, principals, and superintendents; and 02 (2) "task force" means the Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Reading 03 Instruction for All Students and on the Effects of Dyslexia on Some Students.